It’s final table day at EPT Barcelona. Here are the players in the hunt for the first prize of €1,261,000.
Seat 1: Ji Zhang, 35, Karlsruhe, Germany – 6,480,000
Ji Zhang works as an IT engineer and only plays poker as a hobby, particularly cash games at Casino Baden-Baden. This is only his second appearance on the EPT, having made his debut in Berlin during Season 9. He bought in directly to the tournament and has already secured by far the largest poker payday of his career.
Seat 2: Kiryl “angrymoron” Radzivonau, 28, Gomel, Belarus – 3,420,000
Kiryl Radzivonau is an IT graduate, who worked as programmer for two years before becoming a professional poker player in 2008. He started playing low-limit limit hold ’em cash games but now mainly plays MTTs and is already ranked fifth in the Belarus all time money list, with more than $800,000 in lifetime tournament winnings. His biggest result online came in in June 2012, when he beat a 5,776-strong field to take down the Sunday Million on PokerStars for $166,076. His best live result was winning the Russian Poker Tour event in Kyiv for €75,000. EPT11 Barcelona marks his second appearance on the EPT, following EPT Vienna last season. He is married with a 5-year-old daughter.
Seat 3: Slaven “suarez_BG” Popov, 39, Varna, Bulgaria – 3,720,000 chips
Slaven Popov has been playing poker for around ten years and is now a professional ranked No 9 in the Bulgaria all time money list. He is a popular figure in Bulgarian poker, and writes numerous blogs and strategy articles for prominent poker outlets. He has been a Supernova on PokerStars for two years and plays both live and online, especially MTTs. His most notable results include a SCOOP title on PokerStars in a $1,050 event in 2012, worth $560,019, and fifth in a $2,100 SCOOP event earlier this year for $108,158. He played three EPT Main Events last season, in Barcelona, London and Prague, but his best live result came in Las Vegas, when he finished seventh in a deep-stack event at the Venetian for $62,554. His best result in Europe came in Barcelona during the EPT9 festival, when he was runner-up to Juan Maceiras in the “win the button” event, earning €21,380. He also made the final of the 2012 Eureka Bulgaria Main Event for €17,300. Popov almost missed out on the final table this week when, with nine players left, Bram Haenraets cracked his kings with 8♦7♦. It cost Popov half his stack. However, Popov himself then went on an improbable run, cracking kings with ace-jack and heading to the final table with a comfortable stack.
Seat 4: Andre Lettau, 27, Germany – PokerStars player – 5,405,000 chips
Andre Lettau is well-known in the German poker community and is an online coach. He rarely plays live – this is his first visit to the EPT – but he has a string of online results including victory in this year’s SCOOP $215 6-max turbo, super knockout event for $65,062. He lives in Vienna.
Seat 5: Hossein Ensan, 50, Münster, Germany – 10,295,000 chips
Hossein Ensan is having a remarkable festival in Barcelona, having already won the EPT’s first ever seniors’ event. He turned 50 in May so was eligible to compete in the €200 tournament and beat an 85-strong field for the €4,535 first prize. His good forture continued when he won his €5,300 seat to the Main Event in a live satellite, one of 63 players to qualify on site – a PokerStars record for a super satellite. Originally from Iran, Ensan moved to Germany when he was 25 and now lives in Münster. His home casino is Dortmund-Hohensyburg where the EPT was held in Seasons 3-5. Ensan started playing hold ’em ten years ago, but still considers himself an amateur. He started playing live tournaments in 2013 but only plays major events if he wins his seat. He has substantial success in smaller buy-in events including two €300 side event finals during EPT9 Berlin. His dream is to compete at the WSOP in Las Vegas.
Seat 6: Andrea Dato, 35, Rome, Italy – 2,825,000 chips
Andrea Dato, who is a professional player from Italy, has been playing on the European Poker Tour for several years, where he has had several small cashes. However his best ever live result came in March when he won WPT Venice for €104,822, taking his lifetime tournament winnings to more than $1 million. Dato, currently #15 in the Italy all time money list, cashed in four WSOP events during the summer and also went deep in the record-breaking €1,100 Estrellas Barcelona Main Event, finishing 52nd for €6,357 from a 2,560-strong field. His best EPT result before now was fourth place in the FPS High Roller during EPT Deauville for €51,500.
Seat 7: Andrey Shatilov, 28, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia – 3,675,000
In 2013, Andrey Shatilov, a Supernova Elite on PokerStars, bought in to the PCA for 750,000 FPPs and made the final – finishing sixth for $325,000. He took a similar route to EPT11 Barcelona, buying in for 425,000 FPPs – and stands to make at least €121,300 at the final. Shatilov first started playing in 2008, mainly heads-up and short-handed $1 sit and goes. After studying mechanics and mathematics at university, he worked as a programmer and then as a specialty engineer-designer before quitting to play poker full time. He now specialises in online turbo and hyper-turbo 6-max sit an goes at $200 to $1,000 limits on PokerStars and has been a Supernova Elite for several years. He started playing live tournaments in 2010 and now has nearly $1 million lifetime tournament winnings to his name. He came third in the EPT9 Grand Final €5,000 event for €151,710 and was also 14th in last season’s EPT Barcelona High Roller, winning €26,450.
Seat 8: Sam “buckguy2200” Phillips, 25, USA – currently living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico – PokerStars qualifier – 9,035,000
Sam Phillips is originally from the United States, but is one of many professional online players exiled to Mexico to continue playing. Currently, he is on an extended trip to Europe to play live poker and is living in Prague. He’s a Supernova on PokerStars, has won more than $3,000,000 in online tournaments and has a number of major results to his name. He chopped the WCOOP Challenge Sunday Warm-up in December 2013 for $170,000, has made WCCOP final tables (earning $48,000 and $35,000 respectively) and has also finished second in the PokerStars Sunday 500, which was worth $65,000. This is by far the biggest live cash of his career, beating a 499th place finish in the 2011 WSOP Main Event, worth $23,876.
Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below. Follow the action from the High Roller on the High Roller page. Here’s a wrap of yesterday’s action, and there’s also EPT Live, which is streaming action from the final table of the Main Event.